"All right, what exactly is going on here?" I confronted Richard as soon as I confirmed Snake's safe departure. "You know the situation. There was a Metal Gear field exercise being conducted on Shadow Moses. FOXHOUND and the next- generation commandos were in charge of the exercise, and now they're threatening to use the Metal Gear to launch a nuclear strike." "Apparently, I didn't know about that particular situation." "If you say so." I glared at Richard, but he didn't turn a hair. He knew as well as I did that I could not abandon the mission. Even if I did refuse to cooperate further, there was an entire group of DOD personnel around me that would not permit that to happen. I briefly closed my eyes and brought the recent events into focus again. "What happened to Anderson? Why is he dead?"
This time, I could see a trace of a reaction in Richard's eyes. "It's hard to say from our end. Naomi thinks it was a heart attack but -- I'll have his medical records pulled just in case." He turned and left the study, presumably to give orders to that effect. The sounds and the voice being broadcast from the radio told me that Snake was moving deeper into the complex in search of Kenneth Baker. Snake found the ArmsTech president in one of the underground levels. Kenneth Baker was bound to a steel girder along with multiple packets of C4 explosives. Before Snake could free Baker, he came face to face with the originator of this trap: a FOXHOUND operative called Revolver Ocelot. It seemed that he had anticipated Baker's rescue attempt upon receiving news of Snake's arrival.
According to Naomi Hunter, the former director of FOXHOUND's genetic manipulation program, Revolver Ocelot is a former Spetznaz. He moved into OMON (Otryad Militsii Osobogo Naznacheniya, the Interior Ministry riot squad, AKA Black Berets) and the SVR (the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service) -- a successor to the KGB's First Chief Directorate -- after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but was unable to adapt to the new regime and dropped out. He cut a swath through the world's hot spots as a mercenary before being recruited by FOXHOUND. As his codename indicates, Ocelot is a master marksman with a marked preference for revolvers. We could hear the gun battle between Snake and Ocelot over the radio. Ocelot was using an antique Single Action Army revolver against Snake's SOCOM pistol. The first Single Action Army Revolver was manufactured in 1873. A small number of them are still in production today, but strictly for collectors and antique weapon fanciers; using this out- moded weapon for live combat is unheard of. But Ocelot seemed to invest the vintage gun with diabolical powers. He would purposefully fire against walls and the floor, weaving a tight web of ricocheting bullets around Snake, gradually hemming him in.
All we could do was silently monitor the battle. However, Snake was slowly but surely gaining the upper hand by dodging the ricochets and exploiting the revolver's lengthy reload window. Finally, just as Snake was about to deliver the decisive blow, an explosion rang out. "My hand!" Ocelot's scream came a second later, followed by more explosions. "What the hell is going on!?" Richard cried. The controller in charge of the data sent in by Snake's nanomachines started a running commentary. "We don't know yet. I'm seeing a life sign other than those of Snake, Ocelot or Baker." Explosions continued to boom out over the radio. "The unidentified fourth subject is knocking down girders. No sign of firearm use! Whatever it is, it's moving fast!" The controller's voice rose with excitement. "The speed is well above anything a human being should be able to handle." The situation was chaotic. I could make out Ocelot's voice through the roar of collapsing metal.
"Stealth camouflage! Someone left a job only half done... As for you -- we'll continue this later!" It seemed Ocelot had left the area. The explosions went on one after the other as girders crashed to the ground. In the midst of the collapse, Snake confronted what we could only guess was the fourth life sign. "Who are you?" "I'm like you...I have no name." It was not human, but an artificial machine voice that answered. In spite of the metallic tones, there seemed to be in that voice an unspeakable pain. Baker's labored groans could be heard over the conversation. "You have a reinforced skeleton -- !?" Suddenly, the possessor of the metal voice let loose an animal howl. The shattering scream set the communication speakers screeching, and I instinctively covered my ears to shut out the maddened sound. The cry went on and on, then cut out as abruptly as it had begun.
In the ringing silence, the controller's voice floated out, thin and hollow. " -- the fourth subject has disappeared." The words brought us out of a state of shock. "Can we track him?" "Negative. He's vanished, no traces." "Collect as much data as you can." "I have the full results on information relayed by the nanomachines. There's an electromagnetic pattern that resembles a stealth camouflage signature." "Stealth camo and reinforced exoskeleton..." Richard muttered, deep in thought. "Not everything is happening according to plan, I take it?" I inquired with some sarcasm. "It's within acceptable deviation. The mission will go on as planned." For a split second, his eyes betrayed his disquiet; then he quickly recovered his characteristic arrogance. "You just concentrate on your job." Snake had called the fourth life sign the "Ninja." I could not help but wonder about the identity of the name's bearer, and what it was that accounted for the superhuman abilities he had just demonstrated.
Far away on Shadow Moses Island, Snake was attempting to raise the shaken Kenneth Baker back on his feet. We could hear Snake asking him about the nuclear launch code, knowing the answer even as he spoke. Baker painfully acknowledged that he had volunteered the information. His arm hung broken and useless by his side, presumably Ocelot's handiwork. According to Naomi Hunter's intelligence, Revolver Ocelot had served as a Special Interrogations Consultant in the Soviet gulags during his days with the Spetznaz. In other words, he was an expert in torture. There was no way that the weapons technology executive, an untrained civilian, could withstand the techniques of coercion developed in the cells of Lubianka. We now had confirmation that the terrorists possessed both launch keys. The situation was more desperate than ever.
Baker's response to Snake's queries about the emergency override key was almost as grim. He had entrusted a soldier, a woman who had refused to join the mutiny, with it while they had been sharing the cell. I caught Snake's sudden murmur. "The Colonel's niece?" The "Colonel" was presumably Campbell, and Snake seemed to know something I certainly did not. I stole a glance at Richard, but his expression was as closed as ever. He no doubt had known from the outset about the presence of Campbell's niece on Shadow. Snake was pressing Baker, asking him whether there was a way to stop the launch without the override code. The executive gave him a name: Dr. Hal Emmerich. If it were indeed the case that the launch codes were in hostile hands and the strike sequence had been started, it stood to reason that the only person who may know of a way to cancel the launch was the chief of Metal Gear's development program.
As Snake promised to search out Emmerich, Baker handed him a single optical disc. It contained, he said, all the data from the training exercise. What exercise data? He had to be referring to the Metal Gear exercise. I saw Richard raise his eyebrow sharply. Baker, oblivious to the frenzy of speculation he had remotely set off, continued. "There's no need to feign ignorance. You were sent to retrieve this, and we both know it." I was now even more puzzled than ever. If Metal Gear was being developed on Shadow Moses, surely the research data was backed up somewhere outside of the ArmsTech lab. Not only that, but why would the president of the company have been carrying the data himself? I was apparently not alone in my disconcertment. Snake took the disc, obviously uncertain. It was clear that he, like myself, had not been briefed on the existence of the disc. The disc safely out of his hands, Baker's tones became pleading.
"You have to stop them. If the truth got out, AT would be finished -- I would be finished -- " "But Metal Gear technology is already a known factor." "The core technology is, but that's not -- " Baker trailed off, suddenly pale with pain. "Oh God, what did you do to me...?" We could hear his labored coughing as he gasped out. "It can't be... That thing. Damn Pentagon bureaucrats... I get it now... You son of a -- " He tried to lunge at Snake, but reeled back in fresh wave of pain. Still clutching his chest, he fell down, dead. It was too similar to the last moments of Donald Anderson's life, and the fact had not escaped Snake. He was immediately on the radio with Campbell. "Colonel, you'd better be listening real well. This one dropped dead too." Snake demanded an explanation, but neither Campbell nor Dr. Hunter could provide an adequate one. Snake was clearly dissatisfied, but Campbell directed Snake to cooperate with his niece, Meryl. The only way left to prevent a nuclear strike was to obtain the emergency override key, and the key was in Meryl's hands. Snake walked away from Baker's body in search of the elusive commando.